The 2018 French Open has seen its fair share of wet weather, once again leaving players to pay the price for it being the only major tournament with no roofing nor lighting.
With both men’s quarterfinals postponed to Thursday while still relatively early in their running, the two eventual victors are going to have no meaningful rest between their current matches and their Friday semifinals.
In theory, this might not seem like that big of a deal – after all, both players have the same disadvantage – but even before the matches are decided we’ve already got a reminder about the importance of rest.
Assuming he completes his comeback from a set down to Diego Schwartzman, Rafael Nadal will have no time to give his ailing wrists the rest and treatment they probably need before further stressing the injury with another arduous match less than a day later.
If Nadal is subpar, or unable to start/finish his semifinal, it’s going to be a massive loss for everyone. Of course there’s no guarantee 24 hours off would make that much of a difference, but the fact this is an issue that could only happen at Roland Garros shows you how far they’re behind.
On a related note, my apologies to Rafa fans everywhere for jinxing the Spaniard with my prediction of a “trademark obliteration” in yesterday’s preview. My bad, everyone.
In any case, the show goes on, and after Rafa and Diego finish up their match, we have two tantalising women’s semifinals to play. Read on for a preview of each:
Not before 3pm CEST
Simona Halep (ROU)  v Garbine Muguruza (ES)  – First on Philippe Chatrier
One has already scaled the heights of grand slam glory (twice!), the other is desperately trying to get there, now Garbine Muguruza and Simona go at it in a match that could feature several vastly different outcomes. Leading the head-to-head 3-1, Muguruza knows she has the goods to get past Halep, but the number one seed can take solace in having won their only meeting on clay, a three-set affair in Stuttgart 2015. Matching up Mugurza’s ferocity against Halep’s relentlessness (particularly on clay) this should be another close encounter, as while the Spaniard will be on the front foot with the combined weight and depth of her shots, the Romanian’s ability to counter with re-directional hitting will require Muguruza to go for winning shots several times over to earn her points, and the toll may eventually add up. That said, the mental side of things can’t be discounted – particularly in Halep’s case – and it will be fascinating to see how the pressure of the moment influences the match. If it does, it could be over quickly in Muguruza’s favour, if not, we’re in for a real rollercoaster.
Sloane Stephens (USA)  v Madison Keys (USA)  – Second on Philippe Chatrier
The US Open final rematch we’ve all been waiting for, hopefully this time we get the sort of contest we know these two are capable of. In New York, it was hardly a match as Keys simply let the moment get to her, but at her best she can beat just about anyone, Stephens included. Assuming Keys does come to play, this will be a fantastic contest of puncher versus counter-puncher, with Keys looking to end points before Stephens can work her way into them, with the odd out-of-nowhere winner from both players just to keep things spicy. That said, Stephens 2-0 head-to-head and slightly more suitability to this surface give her an edge, but any result from a tight three-setter for Stephens to a demolition job for Keys isn’t out of the question.